Emrick, 74, rose from calling college and minor league hockey radio broadcasts to develop an enthralling style that emphasized superior, often mesmerizing play-by-play: Original on-the-fly, bull’s-eye descriptions; a great knowledge of the game; current and past anecdotal info, timed to perfection; strong, warm relationships with his color analysts; and a modest charm that radiated as real. He forced nothing. He just knew how to know.
“I hope I can handle retirement OK,” he said Sunday night from his home in Michigan, “especially since I’ve never done it before. But I’ve just been extremely lucky for 50 years. And NBC has been so good to me, especially since the pandemic, when I was allowed to work from home in a studio NBC created.
This is NOT how I wanted to wake up today. The NHL is losing an absolute legend and an asset to the game. Doc Emrick, who I was stunned to learn is in his mid-70s, has decided that 2020 was enough. I am honestly sad. This is a man who has been the narrator to virtually every major hockey moment of the last 15-20 years. "Amonte has broken the tie!!" in 1996 World Cup, Crosby in the Olympics, 17 seconds, comeback vs Nashville in 2010, Seabrook's winner in 2013 vs Detroit. Every single moment I have Doc's voice ringing in my ear. A voice that is INSTANTLY recognizable by all hockey fans and even most casual sports fans. A unique voice that was powerful and friendly. A guy who clearly loved the game and all of us in the game loved him back. This is a sad day for hockey fans, but I hope it's a good day for him.
Doc is gone. Edzo has been linked to many front office jobs. The NHL broadcast product is in turmoil right now. Can't even imagine trying to find an adequate replacement if NBC can't get Gary Thorne